If you were a vampire, which chess opening would you use? There's at least one vampire who prefers The King's Gambit. More specifically, the line shown here:
His name is Child, and he's the main character in the vampire novel WAKING, written by our very own LlordLlama (a.k.a. Daniel J Callier). As a person who has made more than a couple of vampire movies, I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I am always studying various stories and comparing the different "Vampire Rules" that each story chooses to employ/discard. Inevitably someone always says, "That only works in the movies," which means, "except this movie." Just like chess openings, there's only a few different forms that these rules usually take. But every once in a while you run into something different. Such is the case with WAKING.
It is EXTREMELY RARE that I encounter any vampire rules that I have not seen before, but the vampires in WAKING are unlike ANY other vampires that I have EVER read about or seen on film (and not just cuz one of them plays chess ). I wish I could be more specific, but I don't want to spoil it for you. The book follows two separate story lines (one of the vampire, and one of the hunter), which inevitably weave together into one - cutting back and forth between them like a Quentin Tarantino movie.
I liked it so much, I immediately read it a second time. And just like Quentin Tarantino movies, you see things with a whole new set of eyes the second time around (cuz now you know where that scar came from, etc.). Here's a brief passage that those of you here at Chess.com should appreciate:
"His mind was rapt in the moment, seeing poetry and meaning hidden among the wooden armies. It was then that I realized the parallels between her teaching and the chessboard... and between the chessboard and life. Things were much deeper and more meaningful when you looked below the surface. The power of the pieces came not from within, but outside, from their function - contingent to everything around them. Even the most insignificant gesture by a weaker piece can render the most powerful pieces ineffective. And more often than not, the gains and losses in chess were invisible to the inexperienced eye. Yet, as invisible as they were, they drove the game forward, defining it. To stand a chance, each move I made had to have purpose, had to work for some goal; otherwise, each move spiraled to chaos. Everything affected everything, thus aimlessness led to quick defeat. When I began to look beyond the physical aspects and see these underlying patterns, these truths woven into the fabric of the game, I saw purpose, I saw reason, and I won."
The bottom line is: If you like vampires, and you like chess, you should read WAKING by Dan Callier. And the next time you play chess with a stranger in the park, don't forget to shake his hand first to make sure he's warm.
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